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Brian Boru Old Irish Red - Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Brian Boru Old Irish RedBrian Boru Old Irish Red

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

937 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 937
Reviews: 459
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 148
Gots: 63 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
Ireland’s first and last Ard Ri (high king) of the whole Gaelic race, Brian Boru was born in Munster, Ireland around 940. Brian Boru’s mother was killed by Vikings when he was a child. He spent his life uniting the Irish tribes to become the first king of Ireland only to be killed at Clontarf on Good Friday 1014 putting down a rebellion by the king of the province of Leinster. This one’s for him.

40 IBU

(Beer added by: Gueuzedude on 03-14-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 937 | Reviews: 459 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hooliganlife


4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured clear copper/amber with a thick fluffy head that took its time going away. very nice retention.

smell was very sweet and the amarillo hops were VERY present.

taste was sweet with a very noticable floral hop flavor with with sweet malts and toffee notes. did not has as thick of a malt backbone as I had expected.

i gave this a lower mark as it was kind of thin for an amber. carbonation was spot on though.

good beer, glad i bought a few of these and the price was lower than most FFF bombers. low ABV made this easy to drink, could have easily popped open another.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2009 12:22:42 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of barnzy78


3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz, poured a rusty orange color with a foamy white head with good retention. Aromas were of sweet toffee and caramel with some unexpected hops. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, and flowed nicely around the palate. Flavors were great up-front malts, mainly caramel and toffee notes, but the balance from the presence of the hops gave it a nice finish. One of the better Irish Red Ales I've had.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2009 01:55:28 | More by barnzy78
Photo of dukedevil0


4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Map Room in Chicago

A: Pours a reddish amber with white head and some lacing.

S: Smells surprisingly like hops

T: More hoppy in the taste than I expected with a well balanced slight maltiness in there too.

M: very nice and full bodied

D: totally easy to drink with good flavor profile.

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2009 02:40:52 | More by dukedevil0
Photo of beerfairy


4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stopped into the brewpub for a pint and a sandwich

A: Deep amber with a cream colored head.

S: Hit of hops, caramel malts are very present.

T: Very smooth, good carbination and a hearty flavor.

D: This is a better example of a Red Ale than most that I've tried. Can definitely drink a bunch of these.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2009 21:35:38 | More by beerfairy
Photo of paco1029384756


3.45/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber color with a small white head.

Scent of caramel, citrus, hops, a bit of earth, and some grain. The scent is a little lacking, it seems pretty weak, there just isn't a whole lot to smell.

Taste of hops, citrus, grain, and caramel. Flavor leaves quickly leaving a faint hop flavor. This beer just isn't that good, but I'm not the biggest fan of the style either.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and crisp, but slightly oily.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 22:48:05 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of hwwty4


3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my buddy Brett for lugging this one back for me from Chi-Town.

Poured a 22oz bottle into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. This beer pours a dark reddish amber with a big rocky white head that left little lacing as it crept down the glass. The aroma is big malt up front with a good amount of orangey citrus and just a bit of pineapple. The flavor is much of what you would assume a red ale is supposed to be. Malty up front but still very balanced. Sweet, but not overly so. There is a bit of orange hops, but they are much milder on the palate then they are in the nose. The mouthfeel is a bit full with a tickling amount of carbonation. It's really nice to see Three Floyds doing a toned down beer. I wish this would be a start for a whole line of small beers.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2009 04:14:00 | More by hwwty4
Photo of Wasatch


4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to BrewerB for this brew.

Pours a nice hazy amber color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is big on malts, getting some cherries, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, cherries/caramel. Medium body, the finish is dry. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2009 21:17:52 | More by Wasatch
Photo of Nutleybeer

New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bottle from Capone's in PA...no where else sells Three Floyd's in our area. Pricey purchase, but I was curious.

Pours with a pleasant head. Dark, orange copper color. The tiny carbonation bubbles circulate around the interior of the glass.

A rich, heavy, sweet, malty scent. Almost a syrupy aroma. First taste, smooth. Not as potent in terms of alcohol taste as I would have expected based on the smell. BIG malty flavor, which comes in waves. Fills the tastebuds. The essence of a burgundy and a barleyine.

Good, quality stuff. As mentioned, lots of underlying flavors present.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2009 22:08:58 | More by Nutleybeer
Photo of CrellMoset


4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of hrking - thanks!! Poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a dark, crystalline burgundy, topped with one-finger of creamy, tan head of average retention that leaves a large sheen but a surprisingly thin, frail-looking collar. The lacing is similarly frail-looking, streaky, sticky in some places, glittery in others. Most of it doesn't stick around for too long, but it does have some presence.

Aroma: A very strong hop presence is the first thing I notice out of this one, citrusy, sweet, and accompanied by tons of heavily roasted malts, caramel, toffee, a few leafy notes. Very nice.

Taste: A nice array of flavors, definitely hoppier than your typical Irish Red. The malt profile is as solid as ever - lightly fruity, caramel, definite toffee, strong toast, fainter backing notes of cocoa and coffee, about equal parts sweet and dry, though with the sweet leaning more towards the high, fruity side of things, gummy bearish, soft. There's also a fair amount of bitterness, and a great deal of other pleasant hop notes - pineapple and citrus notes are strong, unusually so for the style, though it adds an interesting and unique dynamic to this one.

Mouthfeel: Very soft and gentle, with fantastically even and creamy effervescence. This one's reasonably well-attenuated, so the sugars are unusually soft, dry, pleasantly subtle.

Drinkability: Probably the best Irish Red I've ever had. Another winner from a top five brewery, as far as I'm concerned, and 5.9% is plenty to sneeze at. Though it's not my favorite style - the malt complexities just aren't my thing - it's nonetheless a really tasty beer, and one that I would be more than happy to have again. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2009 03:58:13 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of jwc215


3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Tattorso for this one!

Pours dark red with a thin bubbly off-white head that becomes a thin disappearing patch. Little to no lacing sticks.

The smell is of the FFF house character along with caramel, some brown sugar and pineapple.

The taste is of toffee, sweet citrus and pineapple. Sweet with a sour fruitt touch. A FFF spin on the style makes it different.

The carbonation is understated, though some swirling in the mouth gives it some life. It is medium-bodied.

It is malty, with a definate house character (that happens to be a nice one). A bit too much on the pineapple for me, though the maltiness has a nice taste - just overpowered by house taste and a bit too much hops for the style. A different, unique, spin on the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2009 23:45:48 | More by jwc215
Photo of ryrust5301


4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Dark red amber color, with a tight yellowish tan head. Angelic halo crowns the top and holds steady throughout.

Smell - Like most Three Floyds brews, there is some hops at play. The real showstopper is the deep rich caramel malt that holds everything together. I'm sure it will play a huge role in the taste as well. I guess I can smell a little citrus and pineapple as the label suggests.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Well for such a robust malt taste that was expected, this one drinks very light. Smooth on the tounge with enough carbonation to keep things alive, before it finishes in a rich creamy sweetness that I can't stop drooling over. The hops are there, but they flow beautifully into the malt and make sure to get out of the way.

Drinkability - Three Floyds has turned a normally dull style into an enormously flavorful beer. I didn't think you could pack this much taste and flavor into a red ale, but Three Floyds really shows what they're made of here. Dynamite in a bottle!

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2009 06:07:43 | More by ryrust5301
Photo of ShrLSU


3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brownish red with a cloudy look. There is light tan bubbly foam around the rim of the glass. The nose is of earthy hop scents and caramel malts. A slight breadiness as well. The taste is definitely some earthy hop with a stern malt backbone. The caramel malt and bitter earthy hops are well balanced. I can taste some nice breadiness too. Maybe a slight alcohol tinge? Mouthfeel is pretty low to medium carbonation with a somewhat slick feel down the throat. Overall this is a good irish red. It's solid but not outstanding. I wouldn't pay top dollar for this so, it's a tad overhyped/overpriced but pretty solid.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2009 06:05:34 | More by ShrLSU
Photo of SuperWhite92


3.23/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a wonderfully dark red color with a bright white foam- great carbonation, not over the top. Smells of caramel malts, that grassy three floyds hop aroma, and a bit of fuit maybe? Tastes a lot of caramel malts and once again, the characteristic three floyd's hop flavor. However, it's not very complex (although I don't expect it to be). That earthy, wet grass hops flavor doesn't much suit the malt backbone of the beer either. Mouthfeel is good, what I want from an Irish Red. In the end, while I could drink this beer for a while, I'm not impressed enough to want to. However, I'm still glad I got to try it, being that I can't get it where I live.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2008 01:45:56 | More by SuperWhite92
Photo of koopa

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a trade with EGledhill. Thanks for the opportunity amigo!

Appearance: muddy ruby red pour with a light brown head. Not much retention but some lacing.

Smell: Caramel malt with a subtle hop backbone.

Taste: Caramel malt all the way with a small hop bridge to a sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice and creamy with a medium body.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable medium bodied red.

This has been my least favorite offering from Three Floyds but its still a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2008 20:58:25 | More by koopa
Photo of jasonjlewis


4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a 1 1/2 finger head with a good retention and a red color.

Smell is of big red malts. There is this toasted/caramel slightly toffeish aroma that is outstanding.

Taste is very nice . Caramel malts with a bit of toffee is heavenly. There is a big body with a huge malt backbone. There is a bit of hop bitterness and flavor to balance.

Mouthfeel is incredible. Big body. The lingering of the malts is heavently.

How did they get such a great caramel and toffee sweetness in this beer? WOW!

Thanks to Tattorso for this awesome sympathy beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2008 06:35:18 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of roadhouse


4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a clear reddish orange with a one inch creamy off-white head that sinks down to a half inch after a few minutes and is retained quite well due to lively carbonation. Leaves some pretty good lacing down the side of the glass.

Aroma is of sweet caramel malts, some tropical fruits, a bit of citrus, and some light earthiness.

The taste has sweet caramel flavors at first, a bit of breadiness, then the tropical fruitiness comes out. After that the hops start to kick in and it becomes more nutty and earthy with a lingering citrusy hop taste.

Mouthfeel came across as medium bodied, somewhat crisp yet smooth and somewhat creamy.Pretty easy to drink.

This was pretty damn good for an Irish Red. I have a feeling it's probably hard to find one in the style that is tastier than this, but at the same time it's not exactly true to style, as I'm sure FFF likes it.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2008 08:50:14 | More by roadhouse
Photo of markwise


4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a brownish-red with a small, oily white head. Aroma is of sweet malt, rosewood, sugar, maple, vanilla, and oak. Very deep and complex for an Irish Red. Flavor is much the same with pinches of nuttiness and a barely noticeable hop taste. Caramel and sugar cane emerge later as it finishes. Considering how simple I have seen some other Irish Reds, this beer is a symphony.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2008 13:42:19 | More by markwise
Photo of auxiliary

Rhode Island

3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance - Poured dark copper, some head.

smell - Some hops , caramel and grains here.

taste - Some sweetness up front but ends with a bitterness from the hops.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - I was tinking this beer was going to offer more, but not much going on here. Easy drinking beer, but I hoped it would of been on the sweet side.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2008 01:45:43 | More by auxiliary
Photo of nrbw23


4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a crystal clear ruby red color with a thin tan colored head.

S- Caramel malts every where here. A little orange zest and pineapple. I could also pick up some nice hops in here also.

T- Caramel malts jump right out at me and are balanced very well by some nice hop bitterness. Could also taste some smoke and fruits maybe even apples.

M- Medium in body, good carbonation and very smooth.

D- Highly drinkable and recommended. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2008 23:53:44 | More by nrbw23
Photo of kmeves


3.45/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red and a greyish head. Aroma is moderately sweet, grapefruit, some pineapple, caramel, light tangerine., biscuity Malts with some Amarillo. Flavors of toffee, raisins and oranges. More piney as it warms. Definitely plenty of hops, but not especially bitter. Watery medium body, some resin.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2008 17:55:03 | More by kmeves
Photo of zeff80


4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an orange/amber color with a cream-colored, small, bubbly head. it left minimal traces of lace,

S - It smelled of biscuity sweet malt with a moss/peat aroma. Also, a slight grapefruit citrus smell.

T - It had a nice sweet caramel maltiness with a hint of toffee and chocolate. An earthy hops presence is mild and understated.

M - It was sharp and dry. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good irish red ale. Very different from most, but still quite good.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2008 23:21:33 | More by zeff80
Photo of Kegatron


4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark amber with 1 1/2 fingers of creamy off-white (almost tan) head. Thin creamy layer of retention skims the surface and leaves some very nice looking lace behind. Wow! The aroma is lush with the telltale spice and piney goodness of Amarillo hops (or at least something similar) as well as some balancing notes of citrus and thick caramel malts. I'm also picking up maybe just the teeniest, tiniest, bit-o-heat. It's hardly overly noticable or anything but it's definitely there.

The taste is much the same as the aroma with tingling, dry, hoppiness up front that is well balanced by tangy citric character and a beefy backbone of bread, caramel, and toffee. Finishes sweet, tangy, and just slightly bitter. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a moderate amount of a beefy feel and an overall pretty lively carbonation. I was impressed by how easily this went down considering the thick flavors.

Well call me surprised by this one! The hop profile of this was quite the welcome surprise and held up extrememly well considering that this bottle was at least 6 months old. Probably the best Irish Red I've had to date!

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2008 16:17:42 | More by Kegatron
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I grabbed this one in a trade a few months back and had been holding out on it for a while. Decided to open it up last night to see what I had and I was more then pleasantly surprised. Twenty two ounce bomber enjoyed via a pilsner glass at fridge temp. Consumed on 09/04/2008.

The pour was breathtaking, this was easily the best looking red ale that I had ever seen. Rich ruby notes swirled in here with a nice caramel brown base color. Lots of light haze and loaded of carbonation streaming up to the top of the glass. A beautiful three inch high head of off white the came up over the top and settled down gradually, really pushing the envelope here for sure. This was about as good of a red ale as I could ever envision.

The aroma as well was just very nice. Rich caramel malt notes were coalescing and accented nicely by a nice sharp pine hop edge. Good solid presentation of aroma here as the bready nature was dominant but not terribly so and some nice balance was developing. The flavor was more of the same, and really for the style just dead on. Rich caramel and bready malts balanced perfectly against sharp resin like hops. Long drying finish really brought the flavor to the forefront and left a long lasting impression with me. Nearly perfect feel was medium bodied, chewy, and very well carbonated. Filling enough to coat the mouth, but light enough to be session able, truly very nicely done. Easily a drinker I put this away with no issues at all during dinner.

Overall I thought this was excellent. Perhaps my favorite that I have ever had in the style. Rich, surprisingly complex and easy to drink I could do no wrong with getting this one all the time. I would definitely seek it out as it really is a great example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2008 22:22:11 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Reino


4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Tattorso for including this in a trade. My first FFF offering.

Appearance- An inch and a half of off-white head that lingers awhile, but not an eternity. The color of this beer is where it shines. It is fantastic. A rich, deep red-brown that is very sexy. This beer looks a hell of lot bigger than its low abv would have you think. The color is what I want from this style.

Smell- Sweet, roasted grain and dark caramel with hints of chocolate followed by citrus hops, pungent lemon, and some floral hops, as well. A pleasant mix of malt and hops.

Taste- Like the smell, malts and hops are very well balanced. Roasted malt and a mix of dark caramel, chocolate and plums hit beginning to middle before being greeted by some lemon citrus hops. As I drink, the sweetness of the malts and the twang from the hops meld into a flavor that reminds me of a berry cake frosting, maybe marionberry or raspberry. The finish is dominated by lemon rind and dark caramel/toffee malt sweetness that lingers on the tongue. I like how the citrus makes itself known without being too astringent.

Mouthfeel- This beer has a rich texture enhanced by its lower than medium carbonation. I find the lack of carbonation perfect for delivering this balanced brews malty sweet and hoppy citrus flavors. Drinks very smoothly.

Drinkability- This beer has a ton of flavor, low abv, and a great mouthfeel, making it a great beer to have quite a few of. I could easily sit down and enjoy a few bombers of these Irish bastards. My first FFF beer and I'm not disappointed. This beer has me extremely excited to try their other two offerings in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2008 05:48:49 | More by Reino
Photo of gford217


4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of cpferris poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy orangish brown with a dense cream-colored head that lingers for a while and leaves decent lacing. The aroma has a big bready malt sweetness with a hint of pine hops in the background. The taste is a bigger version of the aroma with the sweet caramel malts dominating throughout. The pine hops kick a little up front and come back to leave the slightest bitterness in the finish. The spices and a little orange come across as well leaving a bit of a tea taste on the palate. The mouthfeel is creamy but with strong carbonation that leaves the tongue tingling through the finish. This is a very, very good Irish red, possibly the best I've had. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2008 01:48:49 | More by gford217
Brian Boru Old Irish Red from Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub
90 out of 100 based on 937 ratings.